Cybersecurity seminar to kick off computer literacy seminar series

The Department of Information Technology and the Center for Data Sci­ence computer literacy seminar series will officially start winter quarter. The computer literacy seminars are presenta­tions given by faculty members and guest speakers about various technology re­lated topics and issues.

The seminars were created through a joint collaboration between the IT de­partment and Center for Data Science — part of the School of Engineering & Technology — after receiving several requests from students across different majors to set up seminars to learn more about new technology. The seminar series was approved in 2017, but more prepara­tion was needed before the series could actually begin. The series held a trial seminar during spring quarter 2018 and an information session on Portfolium fall quarter 2018.

The computer literacy seminars are funded by the Student Technology Fee and are open to all UW Tacoma students, staff and faculty. Content will be pre­sented in such a way that is easily under­standable for those from all different technological backgrounds. The goal of the seminars is for students to learn about different kinds of relevant technology like cloud computing, cybersecurity, in­ternet of things (iot) and big data.

“We wanted to help students feel that they’re at least aware of the technology,” Chris Fuentes, IT project manager at UWT, said.

The first seminar will be held Jan. 16 from 12:30–1:30 p.m. in CPS 106. The seminar will be led by Dr. Wei Cheng, a professor in the School of Engineering & Technology, and will introduce key concepts around cybersecurity.

“The first session is an intro to cyber­security; what it is and what to look out for,” Fuentes said. “The takeaway for this [first] seminar session is about the con­fidentiality, integrity, and availability of data that is out there and how to better secure yourself and your data so that you can protect your identity.”

As each faculty member will present three sessions about their assigned topic, Dr. Cheng will also be leading the semi­nar on Jan. 23. This session will continue the discussion on cybersecurity.

“He [Dr. Cheng] has worked with students to present real life examples of threats that have happened that involve cybersecurity,” Fuentes said. “The goal there is to show the impacts that these threats can have on people, companies and individuals.”

While the last presentation is yet to be determined, those who RSVP’d to the seminar on the UWT Information Tech­nology website will receive updates with more information on the session, as well as future sessions. The other seminars are planned to be lead by UWT faculty members Dr. Athirai Irissappane, Dr. Juhua Hu and Dr. Wes Lloyd.

Fuentes encourages students to attend these seminars as he believes they can be beneficial for them now during their time at UWT and in the future.

“Today’s industry depend[s] on tech­nology,” Fuentes said. “We know that Microsoft tools, Google tools, are con­stantly being used within the workforce. This [seminar] is a really good opportu­nity for students to get a feel and intro­duction to some of those tools and tech­nology that are available. Not only is this an opportunity to really get familiar with those technologies but it is also an op­portunity to answer those questions that they may have and boost their confidence once they go onto their careers. [Students should] take this opportunity to learn more for free.”

List of upcoming seminars:


Leticia Bennett

Leticia is the News Editor for The Ledger. She is a Senior majoring an Urban Studies and hopes to become an Urban Planner. She is interested in all things happening around campus and loves to learn new things and meet new people.